Wednesday, June 10, 2015

For the love of music: A chat with Smartmatic’s performers – Part III

Juan Campodónico (El Tama):  “Joy is my favourite feeling and there is perfect music to spread it”

“In music, the passions enjoy themselves.” Friedrich Nietzsche

We all know there are people with happier energy than others; those kind of distinctive beings who pass cheerfulness on to everyone around them. Here we present one of them: Juan Campodonico, better known amongst friends as Tama.


For this Smartmatic EMEA Sales Business Support Manager “music is like the air, vital to keep on living. I feel it like sustenance for my soul.” Juan relates every moment of his life to music, just as in a film, where his brain would be in charge of the music production and soundtrack edition. “Sometimes, I even surprise myself matching my mood with particular music themes,” he says. But that connection goes even further. “I have always considered that music and its benefits are ‘contagious’, therefore I love sharing them with people around me.”

Tama plays the guitar and sings. “I never took formal classes, but since I was a child, I loved listening to my mother’s classical guitar playing and singing.” This was probably around the time when Juan realised how passionate he was about music. “Unfortunately, my mom didn’t have enough patience to teach me; so when I was a teenager, I began borrowing her guitar and learned how to play it by myself. I started singing and playing rock songs, until I decided to form a band with a group of friends. We did covers mainly, but later we started to write our own music. I was the vocalist as well as the second guitar”.

Even if that story goes back twenty years, Juan has kept the spirit and the discipline. Since then, he has played in multiple bands. The last group he joined as a guitar player was a Samba Reggae one (a music style from Salvador, Bahía in Brazil), with which he had the opportunity to perform at a Smartmatic Christmas party back in 2009. “One year ago I got transferred to work in Amsterdam. One of the first things I mentioned to my wife when planning the moving was the need to take my electric guitar with us. I traveled across the ocean with my guitar on my back and, I really felt as a rock star!”

When work and rock meet

“I love to work listening to music. If it were up to me, I would always have background music in the office and I would even select the melodies according to the level of responsibilities and the deadlines faced at the moment.” Of course, besides these innovation tips for HR, Juan also explains that in a corporate environment like Smartmatic it would be useful to take advantage of what music has to offer. “I am convinced that music complements our daily activities. It transforms the operational mood and it makes the workplace more pleasant and productive. I remember, for instance, I had my guitar in a storage space in our Caracas office, at least I did for a while. It was a perfect solution to enjoy a break and take a few minutes off while working on long projects.”

Juan loves rock and its different tendencies. And he is not alone in Smartmatic, as there are many others in the company with whom he shares his music. “It is not only about having similar taste in music, but it is also about sharing our passion. I have gone with many colleagues to rock concerts, or even run into some while in there.” According to Tama, one advantage of having several musician coworkers is that you can always play.“Heider was the bass player of my band for three years and we have played together in multiple occasions. A former employee (Luis Gerardo Roa from HW), who I met at the company, also joined one of my bands and stayed with us for two years. I have always been attracted by the idea of forming a band in Smartmatic. I think it could be amazing to perform live for our other colleagues in a corporate celebration, yet, it is a project in standby, for now.”

Here you can enjoy this video of Juan playing and singing with his band a couple of years ago.